Middle East Eye / August 5, 2023
Meanwhile, Egyptian police launch arrest campaign ahead of presidential election and Jordan holds an Israeli who tried to cross the border.
A Moroccan court sentenced a man to five years in prison over Facebook posts in which he criticized the normalization of relations with Israel, according to the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.
The court considered his posts “offensive to the Moroccan monarchy”.
Lawyer Hassan al-Sunni said his client, Saeed Boukyoud, 48, “was sentenced to five years in prison for posts denouncing normalization with Israel, which was understood as a criticism of King Mohammed VI”.
The posts in question were published in December 2020 by Boukyoud, who at the time was living in Qatar, and came just as Morocco signed a normalization deal with Israel.
Sunni said his client deleted the posts and closed his Facebook account when he learned that there was a case against him in Morocco. He was arrested when he travelled back to Casablanca last week.
The lawyer described the verdict as “cruel and incomprehensible”, saying that his client “assured the court he intended to denounce normalization and not offend the king”.
Mohammad Ayesh is an Arab journalist currently based in London